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In the world's oceans are found thousands of unknown viruses

November 13 2006
06:09

Microbiologists from the U.S. and Canada published the results of the first large-scale study of viruses that live in the ocean. The researchers used a method of metagenomic analysis - DNA extraction from water samples and its comparison with the available genetic databases.

Researchers studied 184 samples of seawater taken at a depth of 0 to 3200 meters in 68 locations in the Sargasso Sea, Gulf of Mexico, the Arctic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean off the coast of British Columbia. It turned out that in the ocean are hundreds of thousands of species of DNA-containing viruses, most of them unknown to science.

The number of virus particles in one liter of ocean water can reach hundreds of millions. This is mainly bacteriophages - bacteria, parasites. They can change the properties of marine bacteria, causing mutations and gene transfer from one species of bacteria to another. Apparently, marine viruses play an important role in the planetary cycle genes, matter and energy, transmits nrs.com.

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